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what do you think
God is asking of us
at this time in Australia?
In 2020, we will have a Plenary Council about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. It has been 80 years since this last took place. This is a wonderful opportunity to engage people in conversations about God and the Church.
Around Australia people are being invited to engage in reflective discernment and discussion about God and the future of the Church in Australia. There are a number of facilitator and discussion guides available to download and use locally.
We are grateful to the parishes, groups and individuals around the Archdiocese who have already begun the Plenary process. Let’s keep the dialogue going. If you need assistance in hosting a listening and dialogue session, contact us at the Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation.
LATEST UPDATES +
HAPPENING AROUND MELBOURNE
We are grateful to the parishes, groups and individuals around the archdiocese who have already begun the plenary process. Let’s keep the dialogue happening! Here are some upcoming sessions happening in the various regions of our archdiocese:
Greensborough, Greensborough North, Diamond Creek
Saturday 13 October, 11am - 1pm
Gathering Space, St Mary's Greensborough
Knox Deanery Plenary Discussion Group
Wednesday 17 October 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (Orange Grove Bayswater)
LEM Listening and Dialogue Session #2
Thursday 18 October, 10am - Midday
Resurrection Parish (402 Corrigan Road, Keysborough)
What local parishes are doing
As part of their Plenary Council awareness campaign, the Sunbury Parish planning committee have sent out 16,500 letters throughout surrounding suburbs and have installed large billboards in key areas encouraging people to take part and voice their thoughts on the Plenary website. Additionally, the group set up email mailouts and surveys to encourage as many Sunbury community members to have their say.
Watch their interview with Melbourne Catholic >
Diocesan Director of Catholic Mission, Kevin Meese, reflects on the power of the Plenary Council to model a mission spirituality.
"As people gather and engage in listening sessions for the process leading to our 2020 Plenary Council, the question of what God is asking of us is wrapped up in the question of what it means for us to contemplate God’s love for our people and planet, and how we might take up opportunities to be instruments of this love—especially among those who are marginalised, suffering oppression and impoverished. ... In serving our parishes and encouraging a mission spirituality, we have the opportunity to highlight hope in the midst of great challenges. The challenges demand of us a patient, listening ear, which opens up opportunities to be bold, innovative and aware of the guiding light of the Spirit."
Archbishop Peter Comensoli on Listening and Discernment
As Archbishop Peter A Comensoli describes in this video, the invitation to participate in this Plenary process is something many of us are already familiar with -- especially in our family relationships where listening is so essential. He also talks about discernment as an invitation to look more and more like Jesus -- in whose image we are made. He asks, "What does God want us to look like? How might we flourish in looking more and more like the image that God has made us in?"
Need-to-know Facilitation Skills
Key to the listening and dialogue conversations is the role of the Facilitator, who guides the process and ensures everyone has their say.
of CatholicCare Melbourne discusses important aspects of the Facilitator's role -- offering tips that will help encourage open, honest sharing. Rhyannon stresses that the Facilitator's role includes three things: 1) Engaging the group; 2) Managing the group, and; 3) Knowing how to close the group.
Fr Kevin Lenehan reflects on spiritual discernment in leadership
Rev. Dr Kevin Lenehan is Associate Dean (Post-Graduate and Research) at the Catholic Theological College in Melbourne. Here he discusses some of the challenges of exercising Christian Leadership in a pluralistic society like Australia, and how we need to "learn again the skills of spiritual discernment within our faith tradition." A timely message as we venture through this listening and dialogue phase of the Plenary Council 2020.
Cathy Jenkins, Coordinator for Melbourne's participation in the Plenary Council 2020
The last time the Catholic Church in Australia held a Plenary Council was more than eighty years ago -- much has changed since! Cathy Jenkins, Director of the Archbishop's office for Evangelisation and Coordinator for Melbourne's participation in the Plenary Council 2020, reflects on the significance of this national invitation to listening and dialogue:
The Art of Listening: In prayer and to each other
The first phase of the Plenary Council 2020 is the
Listening and Dialogue
phase. In this video, Michelle and Trevor D'Souza, parishioners of St Mary's Greensborough, reflect on the art of good listening -- in their own prayer lives and in their marriage of 25 years.
Fr Dishan Candappa responds to Plenary2020
"What do you think God is asking of us at this time in Australia?"
That is the question being asked around the country in preparation for the Plenary Council 2020. Here, Fr Dishan Candappa, Parish Priest of Gladstone Park provides his reflections...
Parish Priest Fr Hien Vu
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, President of the Plenary Council, is inviting people around the country to embark on this important time of listening and prayer. Parish Priest Fr Hien Vu has translated Archbishop Costelloe's message for the Vietnamese community here in Melbourne:
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